Pakistan-born South African cricketer Imran Tahir has revealed that he still regrets not to represent his home country despite the passion he holds for the game and the love for his nation.
Tahir, who still plays for Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), on Wednesday told Geo Super, “I used to play cricket in Lahore and it played a major role in where I am. I played most of my cricket in Pakistan but did not get a chance here. I am disappointed about that.”
Tahir lived in Lahore till 2005, advancing through the ranks of age-group cricket, even breaking into Pakistan’s U-19 and the ‘A’ side. However, an international call-up eluded him.
“It was hard leaving Pakistan, but God blessed me, and most of the credit for playing for South Africa goes to my wife,” Tahir said on Wednesday.
Tahir dated an India-origin woman Sumayya Dildar for two years and moved to South Africa – the country that offered him a chance to play international cricket in 2005. The leg-spinner married Sumayya on 20th January 2007.
Tahir became eligible to play for South Africa when he completed his four-year residence requirement in April 2009.
The 41-year-old has so far featured in 20 Tests, 107 ODIs and 38 T20Is for South Africa and has scalped 57, 173 and 63 wickets respectively in the three formats.
Apart from that, Tahir has represented Delhi Capitals (DC) and Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) among which he won the trophy with the latter in 2018. He also set the record for representing eight different counties in the British Isles when he announced he was joining Surrey in 2019.
He retired from the ODI cricket after the completion of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup where South Africa finished seventh among the ten teams that participated in the tournament.